At a loss for words...
NEVER!! Haha. Okay, well the phrase just indicates how incredibly dismayed I am about our state's number, our back to school conundrum, my "bad attitude" about teachers having no voice in the matter (no voice and no choice), and how concerned I am to make good decisions for our dancers. I am volleying between several ideas and schedule drafts, but the truth is...I am afraid to commit to one idea on the outside chance that the school system will make changes that disrupt our programming. That said, I am waiting for Orange county to announce but also to see what the statistics indicate after the cut off date for parents to choose in Osceola, Lake and Orange counties. These three counties directly affect our client base at CDPA.
What I know is that I feel some strong waves of responsibility that will set some pretty hard guidelines on fall dance schedule participation. The recital time and summer were easier to manage because, for the most part, we could make assumptions about everyone's exposure levels. Once all students are attending some sort of school, we will be right back to the reason we shut down to begin with in March of 2020...school is a haven for infection contamination. I am looking at a later start time for the studio so that students have time to go home and change clothes and clean up before coming to the space. I am looking at reduced exposure by placing students by age/grade in learning pods, extending the class time but limiting the days of onsite options for each age group. I am investigating upgrades to equipment to be able to better facility synchronous ZOOM classes. I want to be onsite when the studio is open and that means, again, a later start time. To facilitate these needs, I will likely need to hold classes on Friday afternoon and evening and also on Saturdays. It is a lot to think about for me personally, but "when the ox is in the ditch, you do what it takes to get it out."
To make this option work and sustain the financial needs of the business, I will be depending on our current client-base to support the framework. I will be very careful about accepting new students and am currently exploring options for being able to do so in the event we do not meet our numbers. My ultimate goal is to be able to provide continued dance education for our current families in the safest possible setting and with attention on the individual student and the overarching family unit. It is my preference to focus on keeping us safe and secure rather than marketing for new families. Of course, if we have space and the family has a reference from an existing CDPA family, I want to welcome them; but I do not want to open our students to additional exposure that may not be necessary. I have never entered a new season without thinking about building the client-base and my peers might say I am crazy. I just know what I can live with and what I am not willing to risk. Hopefully enough of our families share a similar philosophy and we can create a web of support that will not only get us through...but help us grow in news ways that are specific to the needs of the students currently enrolled at CDPA.
Sorry to be cryptic, but I will provide more information as the schools make their announcements. As always I am grateful for this dance family and for the patience and trust you have all shown. I could not ask for a better group of dance parents and a more resilient group of young dancers. I am honored.